I can live without acting: Danny Dengzongpa
The veteran actor talks about his future plans and upcoming films
At 70, Danny Dengzongpa has featured in hundreds of films in a career spanning almost five decades. The Bollywood villain has no immediate plans to retire from acting, but he says it's something that he can live without.
In the last few years, Danny has featured in films like Naam Shabana (2017), Baby (2015) and Bang Bang! (2014). He has certainly slowed down, but has he ever thought of ending his career? "I can do that. I can meditate and go around the world. I can paint and do gardening. But it is nice to do a film when there is a good script. I keep getting scripts, I read them and then I do one film a year which is a nice change," says Danny.
"I mostly shoot in winter so, it's a very relaxed situation for me. I am not in a rat race. I have never been. I have my own place," he adds.
After making his Bollywood debut in 1971 with Zaroorat, Danny made a spot for himself in the industry as a suave villain. His work in films like 36 Ghante, The Burning Train, Bandish and Agneepath as an anti-hero is still remembered by many. In fact, he is one of the rare actors who has played a villain in films led by stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Dharmendra and Hrithik Roshan.
"It (playing a villain) has a different charm. In the 1970s, 80s and 90s, the villain was the most important character after the hero. Without the villain, there was no script. It was exciting in the sense that there well-written dialogues and scenes. We enjoyed that, although it was a little loud. Times have changed. Nowadays, you see the heroes doing the negative part," he says.
Actor Sanjay Dutt had reprised Danny's iconic role, Kancha Cheena from Agneepath in the 2012 version of the 1990 film. "Previously it used to be black and white. The hero used to be white and the villain used to be black. Then came the grey shades. I guess the leading actors must also be fed up with dancing around trees and doing the same thing again and again. I like to play different characters. Everyone wants to do that," says the veteran actor.
Talking about taking up different characters, Danny will be seen playing the title role in Bioscopewala. "It's not like I am singing songs or dancing around trees. It is a realistic kind of film. It is a very unconventional kind of a lead role," he says.
The film is a modern retelling of Rabindranath Tagore's classic short story Kabuliwala. "The story is the same. The little girl has grown up. It's been juxtaposed and intercut. The relationship between the girl and Rehmat Khan is the same. The time frame has been brought a little forward. Instead of the 1930s, it is 1980s."
On the importance of box office success, he says, "The film doesn't have big stars like Salman Khan. It is a small film and so is the budget. I want to just relax, have fun and see how people react to this film. It is a little different. I generally play the villain and suddenly, I am playing an emotional character. I want to see people's reaction to that."
His next is Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, starring Kangana Ranaut. "Shooting for it was very tough. There is a lot of action, sword fighting and horse riding ,and it felt hot in those costumes. I will dub for it in June or July when the rain comes in Mumbai, then it is cooler. It should hopefully get released in September or October," says Danny.